Belarus

UN report raises concern over new laws restricting civic space

UN Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus; 765 NGOs liquidated since August 2020; Protesters convicted after protesting against the war in Ukraine; Trial of BelaPAN's journalists begins; Read more

UN report raises concern over new laws restricting civic space

Prosecutions for 2020 protests continue

The trial against one of the Viasna Center coordinators, Marfa Rabkova, started on 25th April 2022; 27 human rights defenders added to the of political prisoners; Belarusian journalist Aksana Kolb, the editor of the Minsk-based independent weekly Novy Chas (New Time), detained and placed in preliminary custody Read more

Prosecutions for 2020 protests continue

Concern as authorities continue systematic retaliation against civil society

Retaliation of civil society groups which began after the disputed 2020 election related protests, has continued to date, as NGOs and media outlets are liquidated, new restrictive laws imposed, while protesters, journalists and bloggers are jailed for protest related offences. Read more

Concern as authorities continue systematic retaliation against civil society

Reprisals against activists for 2020 protests unabating

Activist declared a terrorist in Belarus; Activist found dead in Kyiv; Number of political prisoners in Belarus steadily increasing; Read more

Reprisals against activists for 2020 protests unabating

July 2021: Black weeks for Belarusian Civil Society

CSOs targeted for inspection by authorities; Criminal cases against protesters and political prisoners continued; Human rights defenders and journalists targeted by authorities Read more

July 2021: Black weeks for Belarusian Civil Society

Crackdown on journalists continues, new restrictive regulations

Between April and June 2021, the situation of civil society in Belarus worsened. Authorities continued to pressure civil society organizations, suppressing freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. The number of political prisoners has increased, with many of them receiving prison sentences. As of June 11, 476 persons in Belarus are considered political prisoners, reports Viasna Center. In addition, the authorities blocked several independent publications, and employees were charged with non-payment of taxes, organizing and engaging in unsanctioned activities or conspiracy against government authorities. Activists, representatives of opposition parties and human rights defenders were also detained. Among the organizations whose collaborators have been temporarily detained is the Viasna Center, which actively monitors respect for human freedoms in Belarus. Martha Rabkova, a human rights activist and coordinator of the Viasna Volunteer Service, was put on a preventive record in the pre-trial detention center as "prone to extremism". Read more

Crackdown on journalists continues, new restrictive regulations

Proposed law amendments in Belarus pose serious threats to Freedom of Expression and Press

The increased detention of over 480 journalists between 2020 and 2021, the searching of editorial offices and homes of journalists and the forced diversion of the Ryanair flight 4978 from Athens to Vilnius that subsequently led to the detention of journalist and political activist Roman Protasevich show that the Belarusian authorities are taking action to hinder freedom of the press. This is evident in the introduction of new amendments on 24th May 2021 that threaten the work of journalists. These are amendments to the Law on Mass Events, the Law on Mass Media, and the Law on Telecommunications. Read more

Proposed law amendments in Belarus pose serious threats to Freedom of Expression and Press

BELARUSIAN CSOs TAKE A STAND AGAINST PRESSURE AND COORDINATED PERSECUTION

Following the mass protests that have been unfolding in Belarus since the release of the results of the presidential elections from 9th August 2020, more journalists, human rights activists and trade union members have been detained and attacked by the police. These chains of events have become alarming to the rest of the world and are having a major impact on civil society organisations (CSOs) in Belarus. CSOs are becoming a target of these attacks because they are leading awareness campaigns and are attempting to lobby authorities to put an end to the pressures and coordinated persecutions targeted at journalists and civic activists. The homes of civil society representatives are being searched with the intention of clamping down on their freedom of expression. They are also being arrested for allegedly providing financial assistance to people whose rights and freedoms have been violated. Read more

BELARUSIAN CSOs TAKE A STAND AGAINST PRESSURE AND COORDINATED PERSECUTION

Detained journalists and civic activists face freedom of expression threats in Belarus

The results of the 9th of August 2020 presidential elections triggered mass protests following the announcement of President Alexander Lukashenko after leading for approximately 26 years. Over 100 000 protestors took to the streets on several occasions and were met with a violent crackdown. These Belarus police crackdowns resulted in harsh treatment towards demonstrators
– over 3 000 were detained and many were injured as a result of police brutality. Further arbitrary conduct included security forces raiding the homes and offices of human rights activists, journalists and trade union members. Not only has this compromised on their right to freedom of expression in several ways but it has also resulted in the international community condemning the appalling violence unleased by the Belarusian police on peaceful protesters. Both the European Union and the United States of America have imposed sanctions on President Alexander Lukashenko and his allies.
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Detained journalists and civic activists face freedom of expression threats in Belarus

Authorities embark on coordinated reprisals against CSOs, HRDs following mass 2020 protests

Post-election protests continued to December 2020; Reports reveal extent of violent crackdown on post-election protests by law enforcement; Dozens of journalists, HRDs, CSOs targeted in coordinated raids; Journalist detained upon arrival at the airport in Minsk; TUT.BY journalists persecuted by Belarusian authorities; Read more

Authorities embark on coordinated reprisals against CSOs, HRDs following mass 2020 protests